I wrote this after summer holiday when I got back from Spain but after that I've forgotten about it and it's been left unfinished with this only chapter. I'm posting it here now to force myself to finish it. Because I'm not posting stories I'll never finish. I've decided that.
And yeah, I'd love to get reviews. And yeah, I'm having problems with the characters: as AU story the things have come differently so the personalities are a little different but I still want them to be pretty much the same. And I'm not good at writing about Riza. And a few characters as well. But I promise to do my best and I'm open for critism.
Disclaimer: I do not own FMA.
The dusty gold
He felt a cold breeze on his face as the man lifted him from his long and filthy hair to the air and threw over the edge of the boat. The water was cold. He tried to plash back to the surface and managed to do it in a matter of few freezing seconds. But he was used to cold. He was used to hot. He was used to pain more horrible than this. But there were some things he wasn't used to. He wasn't used to been thrown in the water in the middle of the sea. Actually, he didn't even remember the last time he had been out of that house he had so long ago called home. He took in a breathless breath and looked at the man on the boat. The man he had once called something else than "the man". The man who had once mattered more. Who had been different.
But what was the point hanging in the past? It was gone. It was gone so long ago. And it was impossible to get it back. Any of it.
"Please! Please don't leave me in here!" he yelled with a hoarse and broken voice. He was surprised that he even remembered how to talk anymore; it had been so long ago since the last time. Too long ago. He felt tears in his eyes too. That was also a thing he hadn't done in a long time. "…I don't want to die!"
Dying. Leaving like someone who he had once known too. Leaving Al all alone with the man. Stopping existing. Even though he yearned for it he wasn't sure if he had the guts to end it all. He was afraid to do most of the things in the world. Even flinching felt like a horrible mistake. Which it usually was.
The man spit on him and pushed his head under the water. He fought back and managed to swim a little further away. His wet clothes were trying to sink him in the dark space under him but he fought back. This shouldn't happen. Or maybe it should. Maybe it was the right thing.
Just stopping his pathetic existence so that nobody wouldn't have to look at his filthy face ever again.
If he would've gotten the chance to do this without Al existing he would've probably just dived towards the bottom he was never going to reach. But he couldn't, he couldn't do it. Al needed him. He had to get Al out of that place before something like this would happen to him too. And things going worse everyday… it was bound to happen. He had been protecting Al for so long… and now he wouldn't probably be able to do so ever again. Guilt burned his stomach and head. If he just wouldn't have done what he did he wouldn't be here. He would still be covering Al when the man attacked him. Take all the hits. Take most of the pain.
Just protecting his little brother.
No. He was not okay this way. He needed to get Al out alive before giving up and dying himself. This was not okay. This was ruining it all.
"…Please-" he managed to cry out before a hit in the face which pushed him even further away again. The man's face was red with rage and his body was trembling. It wasn't the first time he had seen the man furious… but today was the first time he had totally crossed the lines. Over and over again.
"Never beg you twisted creature", the man growled threateningly. His cheek burned and was starting to get more swollen than before. The salty water burned his eyes and wounds and he spattered it out of his lungs and mouth. He was starting to feel extremely thirsty. The man started the boat again with a loud snarl.
"Please! I'm sorry, I'll never do it again! I'll be better, I'll-" he continued crying. He already knew it was for nothing. It was not the nature of this man to give mercy. Mercy didn't exist in his world. It was only part of the fairytales his mother had been reading to him when he had been a little kid.
Before it all.
Before it all shattered to pieces and pierced his flesh over and over again. He was swimming with his clothes in a never ending pool of bitter blood.
How ironic. Or maybe not.
If it just would've gone differently, he thought when he watched the boat disappearing to the horizon, his life would probably be a fairytale.
Now… he didn't know what it was.
Was this even life anymore or had he died without noticing and ended up in hell he never believed to exist?
Or was it even possible for the hell to be worse than the things he had gone through?
There was no goodness in this world, so there couldn't be heaven. Or if there would be heaven, it would be just for one person he had known long ago.
Mum… If you'd just still be here.
"So have you enjoyed yourself?" Roy asked his long-time girlfriend while sipping cappuccino on the little lounge of his coast cottage. Riza laughed a little and stretched her arms.
"Yes. Work had worn me out so badly… this was the best holiday I could ever wish for. I can't believe we have to leave tomorrow…"
Roy let his fingers dance around the little case in his pocket nervously. If everything would go well tonight… Well, he'd probably be one of the happiest men on the world. He was hoping he wasn't too obvious so that Riza could guess it all before it happened. He wanted it to be a surprise. A happy surprise, hopefully.
She stood up and put her coffee mug down next to the sink. Roy watched her hair flow freely as she turned her head to look out of the window.
"Do you want to go and take a walk on the beach?" she asked. Roy kissed her on her cheek and heard a silent chuckle. Riza was very charming when she just loosened up a little.
"Why not? It's the last chance we'll get in a long time", he murmured indirectly. Riza slapped his cheek.
"Pervert. Let's just go."
It was already dark and all the light they had came from the full moon far above them. Its silvery light made imperfect things seem so perfect and beautiful even though silver was just it. Silver. Gorgeous, yes, but also somehow it felt like pointing out that however things managed to seem so perfect, they weren't.
The world was imperfect itself. But it was fine that way. As long as he and Riza would be happy it wouldn't matter at all how the other people would feel or go through. At least he had gotten through enough bad things already. Now there was just space for happy things.
Or so he thought. But as everyone knows… suffering never ends. It increases and eases but it never really ends. Too much good things aren't healthy.
Not that too many bad things would be.
The soft and tingling sand under their toes as the waves of the dark sea hit their ankles time after time again. There was no one who could interrupt anything. There was nothing that could interrupt anything. This would go very well. Hopefully. If he just wouldn't panic but keep his head cool.
"You know Riza…" he started and let his fingers curl around the case again. Riza turned her glance in him and he started to kneel down.
Yes people. Started. He never managed to finish the move.
"What's that in there?" Riza asked quickly and pointed somewhere behind him. Roy turned around annoyed to take a look too. He had been planning for this for months damn it and what the heck had the courage to ruin it all?
There was a small figure lying motionlessly barely on the beach. Riza started running towards it and Roy walked curiously after her. There shouldn't be any other colonization near to this place. Or maybe it wasn't even human, maybe they were overreacting to some random baulk?
"Oh my god..!" Riza breathed and laid her hand on the cheek of a small unconscious or dead boy covered with sand. The boy flinched quickly and started coughing and screaming. Roy's eyes widened and he ran to the scene.
The boy's astonishing golden eyes were unfocused and his strong grip was curled to Riza's collar almost like in a convulsive way. Riza was trying to release herself and calm down the kid at the same time. Roy pulled the boy away from her.
"NO! DON'T DO IT, PLEASE, I WON'T DO IT AGAIN, I'M SO SORRY, I'M SO SORRY, I MEAN IT, I AM, PLEASE..!" the kid coughed and screamed. Roy kneeled down and tried to touch the kid again but the boy's fist met his hands and he backed off. "I CAN'T DIE, I NEED TO SAVE AL, GOD I CAN'T DIE..! I'm so sorry… I'm so sorry Al… I'm so sorry…"
"Out of my way Roy", Riza commanded and Roy obeyed a little unwillingly.
"He seems to be a maniac. Shouldn't we just call the police? It's not safe to go near to him", he said strongly and looked seriously at Riza who snorted angrily.
"Roy, you idiot! He's in shock; I wouldn't be surprised if he wouldn't even know that he's awake. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if he wouldn't know that he's even alive. He must be frightened, right now, he doesn't need police officers around him. He needs very few calm people. Come, help me." She slipped her thin but muscled arms under the boy's armpits and motioned Roy to help her lift him up from the legs. Roy sighed and obeyed again. So much for the loosened up Riza. So much for the propose as well.
The boy's body trembled furiously and a few tears on his face were barely visible when he fell limp on their arms. How far had he even come from? He seemed so exhausted and he was so small… he couldn't be more than 10 years old…
And how had the kid ended up alone in the sea anyway? And why was he apologizing? And who or what was Al?
Scars, wounds and bruises covered the lithe and bony body screaming for discomfort, pain and a horrible past. Roy shrugged. He felt stupid thinking that his past had been a nightmare. The kid was still so young but it seemed like he had gone through what Roy had too but just hundred times worse. His brains were ticking and searching for possibilities for what had happened to him. Shipwreck? Kidnap? Kidnap seemed closer, if it was shipwreck why would he apologize? But like Riza had already said the kid hadn't been sane at the moment of screaming. So maybe he had been screaming for something in his past?
God, this was just so complicated. And he could read from Riza's auburn eyes that they were not going to call the police before they had found out what had happened. And that meant… no, she couldn't be serious. She couldn't really mean that they'd have to take care of this kid? Thank god the holiday was ending and they were going back to Central… Riza still had a different apartment and she would probably take the kid with her. Most likely. She could not possibly leave him to him. And in the best case they'd found out about it as soon as the kid would wake up and start arranging the boy back to his family.
But something in his mind just screamed that his thoughts weren't even near to the truth. It was like there was… a feeling in the air…? Betrayal? Hurt?
He had always been good in sensing things and feelings. He could feel it in the air if someone was lying to him or just keeping a secret. And when people were trustworthy and when they were not. Just sort of… sensing things. Almost like breaking into their minds without really hearing their thoughts and so on. Just getting their true feelings.
And even when the boy was asleep he could sense a few strong and bitter feelings.
How irritating. Like he didn't have enough feelings to think about by himself but to feel other's feelings too. It didn't bother him when the feelings were good… but like in this case… god, he just wanted to go to sleep and bury his head in his pillow just to avoid it all. He hated feeling down. No, he couldn't stand it.
They laid the kid on the couch and just stood there for a while silently, watching as the sand messed the whole couch. They'd have to clean it up at morning. Roy could sense Riza's worry and curiosity.
"Roy I'm feeling tired", she finally sighed. "Promise to wake me up when he wakes up, OK?"
Roy blinked. What the..? "I'm tired too. Can't we just both go to sleep? It's not like he'll walk away in that condition."
"Roy, someone needs to watch over him. Someone needs to be there when he wakes up", she said strongly and started heading to the bedroom. When she was just before the door she turned. "Don't fall asleep."
Roy sighed angrily and sat down on his armchair, sulking and glaring at the boy angrily. This was going to be a long night.
God, every muscle in his body ached just so much… but other than that and the even dirtier feeling than before he was somehow weirdly feeling better than ever. He was in a comfortable almost forgotten position… what was it called… oh yeah, lying on something soft… god it made good to his neck and back!
But wait… he wasn't allowed to sleep like this, right?! God, he was going to get beaten up so badly! His body ached so much already and it wasn't like people were going to listen when he would try to explain that he had no idea how he had ended up in there!
And… gosh… he almost gasped out of horror when his memories came back to him. Well at least he certainly wasn't dead. That was a bad thing too. If he wasn't dead and that man wasn't going to keep him alive for longer then… didn't it mean that… that he was in someone else's house!? It was banned from him, he had no rights to meet other people! He wasn't allowed to look at them, to talk to them, to touch them or anything in that matter! If the man would ever find out about this there wouldn't be a new trip to the sea, it would be done messily and fast so he could be sure he had succeeded!
He almost shrugged but managed to hold back with years practise. After that he quickly stood up. His muscles were screaming and he clenched his teeth so he wouldn't show it to any other person if someone happened to be looking at him.
The sand on the couch and floor shone to his eyes. Please, no, just please, no…
"Oh, you're awake", a bitter voice reached his ears. Oh no, here we go… He wasn't even allowed to look at the man's eyes to see how horrible punishment he had in his mind for him!
"You should sit down, you look exhausted. I'm getting Riza, she made me promise to get her when you wake up."
Sit down? The man didn't really mean that, did he? And was this Riza mad at him too? Were they going to beat him up together? They weren't going to get him back to the sea, were they?!
But follow the orders. Always follow the orders. If the man said "sit down" he had to sit down. But… but the man hadn't said to the floor or to the chair! God, he was just so out of it and he could hear silent talking which meant that his time was running out. Decide! Well… there was only the armchair and sofa, and if there was two people the man probably meant to the floor. So he sat to the floor and started staring at his feet, totally frozen with no kind of movement. A talent he had learned years ago.
The man and woman came back to the room and Ed swallowed unnoticeably. He was in so much pain and exhaustion that he wasn't even sure if he'd manage to be beaten up without passing out. And he wasn't allowed to pass out while being punished, damn it! He wasn't this weak!
"What are you doing on the floor? Come here", he could hear the woman saying. His hand twitched and he cursed in his mind for it. Alright. Get up and here we go. If he'd pass out he'd probably remember it for the rest of his life. He slowly stood up and took a few steps towards the voice, his head lowered down to show he wasn't fighting against. The body language he had been forced to learn during the latest years with the man.
He felt a gentle hand on his cheek, slowly turning his face up, almost like asking him to look in her eyes. No, he wasn't going to do it. He wasn't going to break the rules. Even being in the same room with these people was wrong. He wasn't going to worsen it, damn it!
He heard the woman sigh after a while. She guided him down to the sofa. Why the sofa? Why not… well… the kitchen chairs for example? They weren't as… comfortable… He deserved no comfortable…
The woman sat next to him and he heard the man sitting to the armchair too. He was awkwardly aware of the eyes laid upon him. And he was awkwardly aware of the fact that he was probably slurring their house.
"What is your name?" the woman asked. He blinked. Huh? Who the hell would ask his name? He lowered his head a little more without saying anything. He wasn't allowed to talk. A while of it and these people would get angry, beat him up and throw away. Then he'd just need to find out where was his home. Then he'd get back to Al.
The woman caressed his sticky hair hesitantly but he didn't react. At least so he would've shown it. His mind was screaming. It felt so weird. He was scared. Who were these weirdoes and what did they want?
"How old are you? Can you tell me that?" she asked again. He did nothing. He heard the man sitting back on the armchair and rubbing his eyes.
At least that man was angry, that was a fact. He was furious for him. He could sense it.
The woman's arms curled around him and he stopped breathing. It felt horrible. Horrible yet nice. But still more horrible. He wouldn't be able to move freely even if he'd decide so. He didn't have his own space. It terrified him. He'd always had his own space. He needed it. This was driving him crazy. He didn't want to be crazy. He didn't want to give up now.
The woman sighed as she still got no response. "Can you understand what I'm saying?"
He didn't answer but couldn't help falling asleep again and falling limp in the woman's strong arms. He had failed.
Riza sighed and laid the boy back on the couch and looked at Roy who was staring at the boy weirdly.
"Do you think he even speaks the same language?" he asked and Riza raised her shoulders.
"I don't know. But we're taking him with us. Let's see if you have some clothes he can wear. I'm sure you don't want him to sit in your car in those clothes."
"Hell, no", Roy muttered as he followed Riza to the bedroom.
If you want me to continue, review. One review wanting me to continue and I promise to write another chapter when I get the time.